Archive for March, 2011

BBC Weather Test plugged again

Listeners to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme may have heard Roger Harrabin holding forth about his little project to compare the accuracy of weather forecasters, the Weather Test.

We’ve covered the Weather Test’s multiple conflicts of interest previously and shortly after that we identified some possible flaws in the project.  But of course none of these have been given a public airing by Harrabin and the wheeze trundles along after a year of planning and a distinct absence of definition.

It was interesting that Harrabin referred to the Met Office’s nervousness about the project. Given that just about every outside agency and University involved in assessing forecast accuracy are Met Office partners in various meteorology and climate change, that seems to be over egging things.  Maybe the source of that titbit was Harrabin’s Met Office ‘deep throat’ who fed him the lie that the extremely cold early winter had actually been forecast to the government.

Perhaps the amount of time being devoted to getting his vanity exercise off the ground is the reason why Roger Harrabin’s reporting of the Met Office spin, disinformation and outright deception was non existant in December and January.  Or maybe it was simply Harrabin sticking rigidly to the party line in defence of his Met Office friends, thus furthering the BBC’s deeply entwined relations with the department.

The Census

While I respect those individuals who are determined not to complete the Census, I have no faith that the law would uphold their just objections to this excessive intrusion by the State.  As such I have bowed to the demands of the parasite class and completed my form online.

To those who refuse to complete the very questionnaire – opposed by the Conservatives in opposition, but distributed when they were in government – I wish you every success in avoiding prosecution and criminal records.  I don’t believe anyone should suffer such a sanction for refusing to answer so many searching questions that are utterly irrelevant to central government.

The only satisfaction the Census gave me amid the seething resentment I felt while completing it was being able to tell the government to ‘Mind your own’ on the religion question and identifying myself as English, even though the parasites do not recognise English as a nationality.  No doubt for this triviality I will be recorded on a database somewhere as a non conforming trouble maker or extremist. That would fit in with this story from last year about the EU instruction to build lists of people involved in:

“extreme right/left, Islamist, nationalist, anti-globalisation” groups

This should give us cause to fear the burgeoning surveillance state because we know such lists will include people who simply disagree with that which our supposed servants have forced upon us. As always it is their interests that take primacy, our interests are an irrelevance.  But hopefully, come the day people in this country finally decide to throw off the EU and remove their self serving poodles in Westminster and the civil service, these lists will not matter.

It is not a crime or offence to believe in and desire a strong, independent nation state that serves the interests of its people.  It is not a crime or offence to believe in and desire genuine representative democracy and accountability.  It is not a crime or offence to be committed to bringing about such an outcome.

If such beliefs and desires mark a person out as a radical or extremist then it shows up the political class for what it is – our enemy.

Open Thread

Some stories that are worth a look include this Spectator piece on shameful BBC bias by Melanie Phillips, and this spot by Bishop Hill of the impact of climate change brainwashing on school children. Richard did the media’s job for them again in highlighting Parliament’s nodding through of significant changes the EU Treaty, meanwhile Longrider observes how conditioned we have become to doing whatever someone seemingly in a position of ‘authority’ asks of us without question.

What do you think about these subjects, or what other stories caught your eye this week?  The thread is open…

£173m per week? What a bargain!

What stonking value for money!  According to Budget figures being widely reported in the media today we will be paying over £173 million to the EU each and every week by 2015.  That is not even £3 per week from every man, woman and child in the UK.

For this tiny sum we get thousands of hyperactive bureaucrats, hundreds of laws, regulations and directives, and hundreds of MEPs who are immune from prosecution for tax evasion.  We get a disembowelled military to fulfil the EU’s dream of a Euro Army, we are given the opportunity to contribute billions to the bailout of countries that won’t reduce their profligate unfunded spending, we get to give criminals the vote while they are entertained in prison, and we get to keep dozens of terrorists and law breakers here so they can enjoy a family life or dodge summary justice in their home countries.

There is so much more besides. What are people complaining about?  Just think, we don’t have to worry about democracy any more so there’s no need for us to think about what we want and how we achieve it, it’s all decided for us.  There’s no need to worry about rising taxes because the money will find its way to those deserving super corporations who wield their influence to ensure we pay more for all our goods and services.  Competition?  What a headache. Why put up with the confusion of finding the lowest prices when the EU can intimidate everyone into paying the same high charges?  It’s great.

Don’t forget we get to plant windmills across our over rated countryside, we are allowed to shut down power stations to leave us short of electricity, and we receive the entitlement to pay hundreds of pounds extra each year on top of our energy bills to fund the renewables obligation.  And to cap it all we get to pay ever more for our Westminster MPs who choose to be powerless to stop this joyous state of affairs.

£9bn a year to the EU?  We’ve never had it so good.

Big Society Bank will plunder English money to fund UK activity

Back in July last year the always enjoyable patriotic Englishman Toque explained for the sake of clarity to his readers that Banque Camoron the Big Society Bank is an England-only scheme as only dormant English bank accounts will be robbed by the government to part capitalise the new gimmick.

In February this year Toque highlighted that in a speech on the subject David Cameron was failing to make clear only English bank accounts would be raided to fund the Big Society Bank.

There has been no explanation as to why dormant accounts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be left untouched by this outrageous and intrusive sequestration of funds.  Like most people, Toque had been labouring under the assumption that only English bank accounts are being plundered because the Big Society Bank will only fund English based projects.  But then he saw a comment made by Francis Maude in the House of Commons saying that:

…money put in by the banks will be for UK purposes, but the money coming into the big society bank in due course from dormant bank accounts will be for England only, unless the devolved Administrations decide to put their share of that money into the big society bank,

However a Parliamentary Written Answer published on Thursday doesn’t say that. In fact despite there being an ample opportunity to give a detailed response the answer gives the impression that as with so many pledges the government might be in the process of moving the goal posts.

When asked by Jonathan Edwards MP what arrangements the Minister for the Cabinet Office plans to put in place to fund the big society bank; and whether he expects there to be any differences in the operation of the bank in each nation or region, the Minister for Civil Society (yes, I know) Nick Hurd MP explained (my emphasis):

The Government have committed to using 100% of dormant accounts funds available for spending in England to set up the big society bank. In addition, four of the UK’s main banks have agreed to support the establishment of the bank with the injection, on a commercial basis, of £200 million of capital over two years, commencing in 2011.

We expect that the independent big society bank will have the ability to operate across the UK.

There is no sign of Maude’s caveat.  Not content with the English taxpayer being ripped off by the Barnett Formula of funding in the other home nations, we could now be seeing the Conservative-Lib Dem government taking money from English bank account holders and using it to fund Big Society initiatives outside of England after all.

No matter what happens, the message to the English from the Con-Lib coalition seems to be the same as the one from the last Labour government, shut up and pay up.

Move along taxpayer, nothing to see here

A few weeks ago this blog was preparing a post about the Committee on Climate Change and fired off a FOI request for details of funding and Committee member remuneration (more on that further down).  But after consideration it seemed the post would not provide a great deal of value and it was not published.

So it was with interest that a scan through Thursday’s Parliamentary Written Answers from Ministers turned up a reply to a question about the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) that offers the opportunity for a worthwhile post.  It was Craig Whittaker MP who asked:

…the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he has made an assessment of the diversity of the range of scientific opinion on climate change that is represented on the Committee on Climate Change.

The reply was the kind of non-answer one would expect from the closed minds of those who are engaged in furthering vested interests, which singularly failed to address the point.  Surprise surprise, it is the Met Office’s protector-in-chief Greg Barker who is continuing the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) effort to shield the climate change true believers from proper accountability:

The Climate Change Act 2008 sets out a list of desirable expertise (including climate science, and other branches of environmental science), which is intended to broadly mirror the range of factors which the CCC is required to take into account in considering its advice. Taking this into account the membership of the CCC is kept under regular review with specific attention given to whether their work programme calls for additional expertise at either board level or by consulting outside when required.

I believe the current membership of the CCC contains a good mix of the relevant expertise (including scientific), and creates a committee which is focused and dynamic.

Whittaker had clearly asked about an assessment of CCC membership on the basis of the diversity of scientific opinion.  Barker’s mealy mouthed answer confirmed the composition of the CCC is based upon having a united outlook commensurate with climate change orthodoxy and the only mix being one of expertise rather than opinion.

This is the problem.  The government is not interested in scientific balance or considering viewpoints and evidence that run contrary to the so called consensus.  How can we ever have hope that new evidence or substantial doubt about the climate change creed will be looked at impartially when all the existing structures, such as the CCC, have been built on the premise that the science is settled and the debate is over?

What makes this situation all the more galling is that our tax pounds are used to fund the CCC and pay its members to maintain the status quo irrespective of anything that contradicts their beliefs.  All the members of the CCC are committed climate change advocates and have vested interests in furthering the policy agenda they themselves inform.  When you look at the CCC members you can see that science is the last thing on the mind of the government.

Take for instance the Chairman of the CCC, Adair Turner, now known grandly as Lord Turner of Ecchinswell. His biography on the CCC website describes him thus:

Lord Turner of Ecchinswell is the Chair of the Committee on Climate Change and Chair of the Financial Services Authority. He has previously been Chair at the Low Pay Commission, Chair at the Pension Commission, and Director-general Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Curiously, despite History being part of his degree, there is no mention of his previous role as a Trustee of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) who of course are infamous for their involvement in Amazongate. Turner also leaves out his role as a member of the International Climate Change Taskforce. He is doing rather well out of climate change for an Economist who also lectures part time at Bob Ward’s Gadaffi School of Economics (LSE).  Of course, any allegation of bias would be grossly unfair…

Or we could take the Chief Executive of the CCC, David Kennedy:

David Kennedy is the Chief Executive of the Committee on Climate Change. Previously he worked on energy strategy at the World Bank, and design of infrastructure investment projects at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He has a PhD in economics from the London School of Economics.

So we have the two most powerful members of an ‘independent’ committee on a scientific subject and not one molecule of scientific experience between them.

The LSE links continue with Dr Samuel Fankhauser, Principal Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics and a Director at Vivid Economics (yes, another economist). He is a former Deputy Chief Economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, but now he works with Bob ‘Mad Dog’ Ward, a specialist in hectoring, ranting and misinforming while failing to refute the points made by climate realists.

Continuing the LSE linkage (albeit loosely) the CCC also has as a member the Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change’s sibling organisation at Imperial College, Professor Sir Brian Hoskins.  Not only is Hoskins a Grantham man, he is also Professor of Meteorology at the University of Reading.

Significance? Reading is one of the Met Office’s partner universities tackling ‘the problems of climate change’ and trying to ‘understand the impact of extreme weather’. Hoskins is also a Fellow of the Royal Society, who of course are infamous for having been forced by a number of scientists to admit the science of climate change is far from settled, before being forced to correct their false statements about the length of time CO2 stays in the atmosphere.

So what is the butcher’s bill for taxpaying public?  That FOI request I referred to earlier lays it bare… Just click to enlarge the following.

First we have the funding from DECC:

Then there is other public funding given to the CCC:

Then we see how much the CCC members are getting for presenting their ‘ideas’ and wheezes for tackling CO2 even though there is no evidence it has caused any of the warming that records suggest has taken place:

It’s always nice to see our money going to such a worthwhile organisation that serves its own our interests… Move along now. Nothing to see here.

The Irish vs Their Brussels Rulers

The media loves a good yarn.  The media’s attention deficit has seen them flit between coverage of nuclear armageddon in Japan and mortal combat in Libya without getting to the heart of the matter in either case.

Take away their diagrams of nuclear reactor cooling ponds and images of fast jets and various armament options and there is precious little of value in the reporting.  Usually so fond of providing ‘analysis’ there is a notable absence of thought about the long term effects of the destruction in Japan and what this might mean for the country and its government, or consideration about the potential for a change in the regional power dynamic in north Africa should Gadaffi be brought down by the Libyan rebels.

While the media in Ireland rightly turns its attention to local issues, it also exhibits an idential failure to get to the heart of the matter.  We see today the Irish Independent the headline: ‘Our fight to survive: EU in Noonan’s line of fire‘. As an example of hype this is right up there with the most laughable. A more honest description would be Noonan like a rabbit in the EU’s headlights.  The piece opens:

The ‘mother and father’ of political and diplomatic battles is looming for Ireland as Finance Minister Michael Noonan goes into tomorrow’s eurozone ministers’ meeting in Brussels.

He will seek to form a grand alliance of smaller European countries in our colossal battle with France and Germany to stop the “torturing” of Ireland and save its low corporation tax rate.

The channelling of Saddam and embellishment of his words notwithstanding, this piece may as well have been written by the former Iraqi Information Minister, Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf. It isn’t going to be much of a battle when Noonan has no weapons at his disposal, as the third paragraph makes clear:

And although taxation rates will not be on the agenda, Mr Noonan intends to use the occasion to build up a relationship with politicians from other countries in the 17 member eurozone.

And that is the problem.  The Irish people voted for Fine Gael because they are desperate for a renegotiation of the EU/IMF bailout.  Why? because the demands it makes for spending cuts and tax increases are causing the Irish a significant amount of pain.  It is ridiculous of the Irish Independent to describe the EU as being in Noonan’s line of fire when the EU is calling the shots.  As this humble blog explained back in February, Fine Gael’s win changes nothing:

Bar some tinkering around the edges nothing will change.  Ireland’s voters will still be paying higher taxes and experiencing huge cuts in spending on public services.  They voted for change but will not see any, because when all is said and done the government of Ireland is cannot be found in the Dail, it resides in Brussels.  No one was able to vote for or against it.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, but generally the menu of an establishment you are familiar with gives an idea of what is going to be put on the table.  And it was just four days ago that the menu was published.  With classic EU doublespeak the headline gave the illusion of flexibility – EU/IMF delegation gives Ireland green light for bailout changes – while the body of text confirmed the usual rigidity as it explained:

But according to the Minister for Public Sector Reform Brendan Howlin, they accept the programme for government as long as the new administration agrees to raise the same amount of money from cuts and tax hikes.

The Irish voted Fine Gael because of the promise to renegotiate the bailout.  The bottom line?  Nothing will change.

The deckchairs can be re-arranged in the grand buildings where power once resided, but now that power has been handed over to the EU by the quisling politicians who put their own interest and prospects before the people they were supposed to serve, nothing that is said elsewhere means anything any longer.

When reality finally dawns in the Free State one wonders if the people will remember the spin pumped out by the timid, establishment hangers on in the media who tried to keep the deception running.  They are every bit as much to blame as the politicians they helped to bring this situation to pass.

Today Libya, tomorrow Saudi Arabia?

The UN Security Council has voted 10-0 with five abstentions to impose a no fly zone over Libya.

So the obvious question is, if and/or when Bahrain, Yemen or Saudi Arabia’s people decide to oppose their rulers in direct fashion as we have seen in Libya, will we see the United States, UK and France marching into the UN Security Council to demand the imposition of no fly zones over those countries?

Or are such actions only reserved for regimes with whom there are old scores to be settled?

Will we see this newly found principled approach trump the vested and strategic interests of the US and other western nations?  Will we see a surprising appetite for intervention to ‘level the playing field’ in potential civil conflicts between autocrats and the people they dominate?

The words ‘Yeah, right!” spring to mind.

Angela Merkel’s nuclear kneejerk and green spin

‘Japan crisis: Germany to speed up nuclear energy exit’ booms the BBC headline today as the anti nuclear onslaught continues following the multiple reactor crisis at Fukushima.

The story explains how German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced a ‘measured exit’ from nuclear power in response to the crisis affecting four reactors in Japan.  Stating that the Japanese disaster meant it could no longer be ‘business as usual’ in Germany – a country renowned for its earthquakes and tsunamis – Merkel told the Bundestag that the goal was:

…to reach the age of renewable energy as soon as possible.

It is an interesting goal given the reality of Germany’s current energy generation strategem which was covered briefly on this blog back in January.  For while Merkel tilts left in an attempt to appease the panicking nuclear-hating Greens, German energy policy shows a distinct lack of confidence in renewables to deliver the power needed in an industrialised country.

Just consider the extent of Germany’s new build coal fired power stations currently under construction, as detailed on EU Referendum, that shows that while Merkel is talking the talk on renewables she is not walking the walk:

- EVONIK, Walsum (Duisburg), 800 MW black coal (2010)
– RWE, Neurath (Cologne), 2 x 800 MW lignite (2009)
– RWE Westfalen (Dortmund-Hamm, 2 x 800 MW black coal (2011)
– EON Datteln (Dortmund), 1 x 1100 MW (!) black coal (2011)
– ENBW Karlsruhe, 1 x 800 MW black coal (2011)
– Trianel (municipality) Lünen, 1 x 800 MW black coal (2011)
– Vattenfall Moorburg (Hamburg), 2 x 800 MW black coal (2011)
– Vattenfall Boxberg (close to Leipzig), 1 x 800 MW lignite (2011)

The dates in brackets are the completion dates of the boilers (hydraulic testing and first fire).

While Germany’s significant investment in coal makes good sense Merkel’s pronouncement about a ‘measured exit’ from nuclear power is an example the worst kind of gesture politics.

It is worrying that a national leader resorts to disproportionate kneejerk policy borne of emotion rather than policy based on evidence.  By seeking to play up renewables on the one hand and greenwash the mainstay of energy generation capability on the other, Merkel is demonstrating the kind of hypocrisy that characterises the political class.

Oh for a politician who will set aside spin and tell it like it is on wind power.  Wind is not the panacea portrayed by the wind lobby and greenies, it remains a poor value and unreliable form of generation and only benefits the recipients of the lavish subsidies that look all the more disgraceful on those days when energy is needed but the turbines have no wind to turn them.

Sunset

Regular readers will have noticed a paucity of blog posts here for the last week and a half.  I can only apologise and explain the situation as it stands.

Over the last couple of years I had been very fortunate to be working in a role not far from home that afforded me the time and opportunity to read widely and blog on news and current affairs, with the ability to do this from the office.  Nothing lasts for ever and the role came to an end recently.

Unlike many people in the current economic climate I have been lucky enough to find my feet quickly with a new job in a new organisation, and for that I am really thankful. But as always there are swings and roundabouts, plusses and minuses.

The first problem is the nature of my work and my employer’s necessarily restrictive internet policy makes it nigh on impossible to spend time taking in the news then blogging observations from the office.  That immediately reduces my scope for blogging.  The second problem is that my day is much longer due to the 140 mile round trip to work each day (surprise surprise, public transport doesn’t go where I need to go, so I have to drive and swallow hard at the rising fuel price).

So when I finally get home after 7pm I’m ready to wind down and focus on family rather than tearing into the deceit, hypocrisy and rank stupidity of the entities and individuals who govern and influence our lives.

Publishing the occasional evening blog post and a couple of posts at the weekend won’t do this blog justice and won’t be enough for me.  So reluctantly I now need to consider if Autonomous Mind has run its course and will sit here in suspended animation hereafter.  It will be a wrench if it is because as you can tell from my posts I really do enjoy doing this.

It may be that circumstances allow me to find a way to resume blogging with the rate of output I have previously, or some kind blogger might allow me to grace their home with the occasional guest post now and again. But that remains to be seen.  I suppose we will just have to see how things pan out over the next few days before making a final decision.

In the meantime, thanks for your visits and comments here. I hope you will continue to read my favourite blogs listed in the roll on the right and give encouragement to those excellent bloggers who continue to analyse and inform.

AM

Lucky UK has a massive 40% of Big Wind!

A Guest post by Martin Brumby

“Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!”
(King Lear Act III)

I’m sure readers here will be aware that Big Wind’s advocates and defenders are weapons grade Porkie-Pie Men. Not even “Climate Scientists” can quite match them for sheer mendacity. A few days ago AM was kind enough to offer me a Guest Posting on Buff Huhne’s claim that we now produce 7% of our electricity from renewables.

Despite having to correct part of this (see comments), there’s nothing wrong with the conclusion that nothing like 7% of our electricity is renewable. More like 2 – 3%, and most of that is on warm, windy nights when we really don’t need it.

Today I thought I’d like to look at another common claim – the suggestion that the UK has 40% of Europe’s wind. I’m not sure that I can finger Buff Huhne or his egregious predecessor little Eddie Milipede with using this, although they may well have done. I’ve certainly heard it from one of the BBC’s Three Stooges. And a bit of searching on the internet throws up multiple instances of the claim:

40% of all the wind energy in Europe blows over the UK, making it an ideal country for small domestic turbines.”

“Did you know 40% of all the wind energy in Europe blows over the UK.?”

“Due to a combination of its latitude (at the boundary of the Ferrel and Polar Cells) and the lack of landmass in the prevailing south-westerly wind direction, the UK is fortunate to have much higher wind speeds than those in continental Europe. Indeed the BWEA has estimated that the UK has some 40% of the Europe’s total wind resource.” [Wot about Ireland? Isn’t that a landmass? M.B.]

“Wind energy has historically been converted into mechanical energy to pump water or grind grain but the principle application today is electricity generation. The UK receives 40% of Europe’s total wind energy but we currently generate only 0.5% of our electricity using wind.”

There’s load of these, all parroted but never with any citation or justification. But what’s this?

Downloading their dismal “Report” [Introduction:- Sir John Houghton, “Former Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” et al, partners and funders including the UEA and Mystic MET – your tax pounds at work] we read:-

“Wind is a vast energy source with an enormous job creation potential. The UK holds 40% of the EU’s total wind resource, but only 4.2% of its total installed capacity (Lambert, 2008).”

Hmmm. “Lambert, 2008” Surely that must be a proper, ‘peer-reviewed’ paper?  Well, not really. It turns out to be a bit of black propaganda by Jean Lambert, Green Party MEP for London.  She says:

“Clearly the UK has huge potential for investment in wind energy, and is the windiest country in Europe, with 40% of the EU’s entire wind resources. The British Wind Energy Association estimates that the UK could be meeting 35% of its electricity needs from wind by 2020.34 With the UK accounting for only 4.2% of the EU’s total installed wind power capacity, it’s hard not to see this as a hugely wasted opportunity and as a damning failure of Government.”

So where does Ms. Lambert get this gem from, the BWEA? Hmmm. That’s like taking advice on patient care from Dr. Harold Shipman. The BWEA is now the Renewable Energy World. And Lambert’s quoted “paper” seems to be this which contains:-

“The UK has 40 percent of Europe’s entire wind resource and with these abundant resources we should be a world leader in renewable energy generation,” said the statement from BWEA. “Although the UK currently trails behind our European partners’ levels of renewable generation, the UK has doubled its wind energy capacity over the past 20 months. The equivalent of 6 percent of the UK’s electricity supply remains held up in the planning system from onshore wind energy projects alone, which means the UK can meet its 2010 targets and set the stage to meet for more ambitious targets to 2020.”

No reference, no citation, no explanation, nothing. Obviously it is just a bold assertion. I give up. Who knows where this “40%” claim comes from? The leprechaun at the bottom of the garden?  And what does it actually mean?   I then turned to this.  This being Technical report No 6/2009 from the European Environment Agency. Your tax-pounds sent to Brussels at work.

Personally, I wouldn’t trust this outfit if they told me that Christmas day will fall on 25th December. And their “technical report” is replete with quotes from Greenpiss, clear evidence of data tortured until it confessed, computer models, the whole works.

First of all, what is meant by “Europe”? (click to enlarge)

That’s interesting. Turkey is in Europe. Iceland isn’t. Neither is Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine & Vatican City. How about Aland, Faroes, Gibraltar, Abkhazia, Transnistria and the rest? Who knows? Are the Azores & Canary Islands in with Portugal and Spain? Can’t be sure but probably not. Anyway, I haven’t found the raw data (or even the tortured data), but there are some charts… (click to enlarge)

Whilst there are some notes about some of the assumptions and ‘adjustments’ made, it all seems pretty unclear.  It isn’t ideal but it isn’t too difficult to scale off the charts, put the measurements into a spreadsheet, convert to TWh and see how much “Unrestricted technical potential” the EEA reckons there is.

They seem to think that this will amount to over 73,000 TWh in 2030, based on their idiosyncratic definitions of “Europe” and “technical potential”. And that the UK’s share of this “bonanza” will amount to around under 13% of this. Deleting Turkey, Switzerland and Norway (to make “Europe” equal to the “EU” reduces the total to 66,000 TWh and boosts our “share” to a stonking 14%. Even if we look only at “offshore” and restrict “Europe” to “the EU”, our share is only 21%.

So, forty percent? Absolutely no chance based on these charts.

Naturally, depending on your definition of “Europe”, the “UK”, and “Wind Energy” I guess you can prove anything you want to, especially if practical considerations (let alone commercial considerations) don’t matter. The fact that I haven’t found a sensible source for the 40% claim doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist somewhere. But this widely quoted Greenie claim looks like the usual dishonest hyperbole. And, in any case 40% of something that is eyewateringly expensive and almost completely useless is still not worth a fart.

Blogging Break

Due to the start of an important new contract this week I’m having to focus attention on work, so blogging will need to take a back seat. Hope you can come back at the weekend once things have settled down. Until then, do have a browse through the blogroll on the right and visit my regular reads. Happy blogging!

5 Star Blogging

A (usually) daily selection of five blog posts recommended to you for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing…

1. GWPF on Helmut Schmidt Calls For IPCC Inquiry

2. Klein Verzet on Burning Food

3. Ockham’s Razor on Clueless In Downing Street

4. Subrosa on A Scottish First

5. Confirm or Deny on Should State Funded Political Parties Be Subject To FOI?

Savour this in all its brilliance

There is nothing I can say that will add any value to this outstanding post from Peter North on EU Referendum.  How many of us would love to pin an MP against a wall and recite North’s sentiments?  Witty, insightful and entertaining, I hope he will consider it a compliment when I say he is definitely his father’s son.

Update: And the old man is navigating his tumbrel around the political landscape in particularly fine fashion too…

Wind turbines again

Presenter of the Daily Politics show on the BBC, Andrew Neil has blogged about his encounter with Philip Hammond on Wednesday, also covered by Christopher Booker this weekend.

During the show, Hammond (another of those hypocritical weasels who spins like a top) claimed that onshore wind doesn’t need subsidy anymore, onshore wind can pay its way.  Those who actually inform themselves rather than rely on government spin will know that claim is utter rubbish.

Andrew Neil says he has looked into Hammond’s claim and shares with readers what he now understands:

Onshore wind turbine generators don’t necessarily get a direct subsidy to build or operate the turbines (though some might) but under the government’s Renewables Obligation electricity companies must buy power generated by onshore turbines at twice the market rate.

This 100% higher price is then passed on to the rest of us in higher electricity bills. (The price for offshore generated power enjoys, I’m told, an even higher officially-mandated mark up).

So it’s not so much a subsidy in which government doles out billions of our money to keep the turbines going. It’s an artificially high price they are empowered by law to charge to keep them going, which is then passed on the rest of us. Otherwise, as I understand it, the turbines would be uneconomic. You may conclude that is as much a subsidy as a straight taxpayers’ grant.

I’m not sure where Neil looked, but he must have missed this recent piece in the Telegraph that shows onshore turbines do attract a direct subsidy. It is helpful that he has explained the effect of the Renewables Obligation, but Neil would have been more accurate if he had pointed out the EU origins of this insanity that generates a tiny amount of energy but a lot of money for the owners, operators and landlords.  The taxpayer is being ripped off.

Do shut up Cameron you self absorbed prat

As the ‘Heir to Blair’ it comes as no surprise that David Cameron wraps himself in pathetic soundbite politics.  Like Blair, Cameron is also fundamentally dishonest. Today we are provided with another of those ‘Oh piss off’ moments.

We learn that Cameron’s speech to the What’s-left-of-the-Conservative-Party Spring Forum will see him vowing to fight the “enemies of enterprise”. It appears that:

The Prime Minister will tell the Conservatives’ spring forum he wants to make it easier for people to start their own business and will get rid of some of the rules and regulations that stand in the way.

Get rid of rules and regulations eh?  What, the ones that are dreamed up in Brussels and made law here?  You know, laws and regulations that before the election Cameron promised to repatriate from the EU, then after the election his government added to by rubber stamping a raft of EU measures and opting in to others. My bullshit-o-meter is already red lining.  Apparently:

Among his proposals is a plan to encourage government departments to award more contracts to small and medium-sized firms.

He will accuse Labour of smothering the life out of business and say he has an “almighty job to do” fighting against bureaucrats and their “ridiculous rules” and town hall officials who “take forever” making planning decisions.

Labour did what the Conservatives are doing, bowing before the altar of the EU to impose every wheeze the bureaucrats can come up with as quickly as possible.

As any small or medium size businessman will tell you, just try being considered for a government contract.  Just put yourself forward for the assault course of jumping through hoops, agreeing to abide by irrelevant compliance commitments on things such as diversity and sustainability, and having every aspect of your activity pored over by faceless officials who will determine if you are worthy enough to participate in such state generosity.  While trying to satisfy all these pre-requisities, how do they have time to run their business?

To cap off his stupidity, Cameron will say:

“There is no shortage of enterprise in this country,” he will tell delegates in Cardiff.

“I see it in the ideas and energy of all the entrepreneurs I meet – British people selling curries to India and fashion to France.

“The enterprise culture is alive and well. Now, we just need an enterprise government to go with it,” he will add.

The entrepreneurs who are doing this have done it despite the government, not because of it.  Government has made it harder for them, not easier.  What they need is government to stop meddling and stay out of their business.  What Cameron is proposing is more government activity, rather than less.  You cannot have more government activity without more bureaucracy – and you cannot have more bureacuracy without ever increasing regulation, monitoring and intrusion.

If Cameron wants to fight the ‘enemies of enterprise’ he can start by punching himself in the mouth.  If nothing else it might give us some respite from him for a while.

Tax and EU regulations make HSBC set to move HQ to Hong Kong

According to the Telegraph HSBC is preparing to relocate its HQ from London to Hong Kong due to increasing taxes and extra layers of EU regulation heaped on the City of London.  Thanks to higher taxes and the suffocating bureaucracy being imposed on businesses, the UK is becoming uncompetitive.

Warnings that bankers could desert the UK if the government interfered in their bonus schemes were dismissed with a sneer by the likes of Vince Cable. But while focusing efforts on playing the gallery on that trivial matter, the government seems to have missed the frustration of entire corporations that have the capacity to move their headquarter operations out of the country.

If HSBC decides to relocated the impact will be billions of pounds less in the UK Treasury coffers. It will be this idiotic grandstanding government and unaccountable EU bureaucrats to blame for such a move and the harmful impact on our economy.

UK supports sustainable trade in ‘endangered’ Polar Bear parts

No, really.

The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), believes that the Polar Bear is ‘vulnerable’ therefore at a high risk of extinction in the wild. Apparently it’s climate change and big oil to blame in case you were wondering. Although populations are reported to be growing or stable in many areas various agencies are convinced climate change could impact their numbers in the future.

Despite this we learn that DEFRA works through the UK’s membership of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to ensure that the international trade in polar bears or their parts is sustainable and does not further threaten the species’ survival in the wild. This inexplicable contradiction was revealed in a written answer to a question in Parliament shown below.

(click to enlarge)

So this is how animals we are told are at a high risk of extinction are protected?  Is it only the idiots in government circles who fail to see the irony of their contradictions and flatulent opinions?

Wind turbine money pit and government idiocy

Christopher Booker again turns his attention to the expensive white elephant that is wind power in a short Telegraph column.  He opens his piece thus:

Talking on the BBC last week about wind turbines, which are at the centre of our Government’s energy policy, the Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, said “onshore wind doesn’t need subsidy any more, onshore wind can pay its way”. This was so laughably untrue that one has to wonder whether Mr Hammond was being deliberately untruthful or whether, which is almost worse, he is so ignorant that he actually believed what he said.

It is well worth a few moments of your time. You can read the whole piece here.

5 Star Blogging

A (usually) daily selection of five blog posts recommended to you for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing…

1. Looking For A Voice on The FOI (Amendment) Bill 2010-11 – The Flint Axe

2. Witterings From Witney on Wales Is A Region Of The EU For Heaven’s Sake

3. Captain Ranty on Living Free In An Unfree World

4. Cranmer on Barnsley By-Election Is A Triumph For UKIP

5. Climate Change Dispatch on Exposing The Fraud In The So-Called Consensus


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